The Care Act
From April 1 2015, the Care Act extended the right for eligible people to have independent advocacy to help them be actively involved in their care and support process, including their:
- Care assessments
- Care and support planning
- Care and support reviews
- Safeguarding enquiries
- Safeguarding adult reviews (previously known as serious case reviews).
If we are delivering Care and Support Advocacy in your area, local authority social care teams (and designated organisations) can make a referral to our service for people through your local VoiceAbility office.
How to make a referral
If you are not certain whether someone you are working with is entitled to an advocate, please contact us. We can talk to you about the situation and help you understand what the person needs.
What is the role of a Care and Support Advocate?
Care and Support advocates will work with people to support their active involvement in their care and support process. An advocate will:
- Support the person to prepare for their care assessment, meetings or safeguarding enquiries
- Help the person to understand the care and support processes and options available to them
- Make sure that the person feels able to give their views and wishes about their care and support needs
- Work with the person so that they are able to make their own decisions
- Support the person, and represent them when appropriate, to challenge decisions made if it is felt that they have not taken into account the person’s views, wishes and feelings
For further information, please download our information leaflets:
- Care and Support Advocacy leaflet (standard version)
- Care and Support Advocacy leaflet (Easy Read version)
When should referrals be made?
Referrals should be made as soon as is clear that someone will have substantial difficulty being involved and no appropriate individual has been identified to support them. Advocacy should be considered from the first point of contact, request or referral (including self-referral) and at any subsequent stage of the care and support process.
If a referral is not made immediately, perhaps because advocacy was not required at that time, a referral can be made at any stage in the care and support process.
To support the transition of people currently receiving council-arranged care in England to the Care Act, reassessment of eligibility will not be required until the next care review. However, any reassessment must be carried out before 1 April, 2016.
The right to an advocate applies in all settings regardless of whether the person lives in the community or a care home, and includes prisons (except with safeguarding enquiries or Safeguarding Adult Reviews).
For further information about the role of an independent advocate under the Care Act or whether someone can be an appropriate individual, please download our factsheets below.
Joined up advocacy
It is crucial that professionals and advocates work together so that people eligible for independent advocacy, regardless of the legislation their eligibility falls under, receive support they need with the least amount of disruption as possible.
In some places, this will mean that there could be several providers delivering different independent statutory and non-statutory advocacy provision in the same area. Those referring individuals to Care and Support advocacy will need to be aware of this and know who to refer to.
If you would like to speak to someone about advocacy under the Care Act, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or speak directly to the Total Voice Service Manager who will be able to help.